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Bor Forms of Government let fools contest;
Man, like the gen'rous vine, supported lives;
315 And one regards Itself, and one the Whole.
Thus God and Nature link'd the gen’ral frame, And bade Self-love and Social be the same.
VER. 303. For Forms of Government let fools contest ;] The author of these lines was far from meaning that no one form of Government is, in itself, better than another (as, that mixed
or limited Monarchy, for example, is not preferable to absolute) i but that no form of Government, however excellent or prefer
able, in itself, can be sufficient to make a People happy, unless it be administered with integrity. On the contrary, the best sort of Government, when the form of it is preserved, and the adminiftration corrupt, is most dangerous,
E P I S T L E
Of the Nature and State of Man with respect to
I. FALSE Notions of Happiness, Philosophical and
Popular, answered from ø 19 to 77. II. It is the End of all Men, and attainable by all, y 3o. God intends Happiness to be equal ; and to be so, it must be focial, fince all particular Happiness depends on general, and since he governs by general, not particular Laws, * 37. As it is necesary for Order, and the peace ånd welfare of Society, that external goods skould. be unequal, Happiness is not made to confift in these, x 51. But, notwithftanding that inequality, the ba. lance of Happiness among Mankind is kept even by Providence, by the two Paffions of Hope and Fear, x 70. III. What the Happiness of Individuals is, as far as is consistent with the constitution of this world; and • that the good Man has here the advantage, ý 77. The error of imputing to Virtue what are only the calamities of Nature, or of Fortune, Ý 94. IV. The folly. of expecting that God should alter his general Laus in favour of particulars, Ý 121.
V. That we are not judges who are good; but that whoever Ney are, they must be happiest, x 133, &c. VI. That external
goods, are not the proper rewards, but often inconfiftent with, or defiructive of Virtue, y 165. That even these can make no Man happy without Virtue: Instanced in Riches, x 183. Honours, ♡ 191. Nobility, ý 203. Greatness, ♡ 215. Fame, ♡ 235. Superior Talents, ♡ 257, &c. With pictures of human Infelicity in Men podeljed of them all, x 267, &c. VII. That Virtue only confiitutes a Happiness, whole object is universal, aid whole prospec7 eternal, y 307, &c. That the perfection of Virtue and Happiness confifts in a conformity to the Order of Providence here, and a Resignation to it here and hereafter, men 326, &c.
EPIST LE IV.
H HAPPINESS! our being's end and aim !
Good, Pleasure, Ease, Content! whate'er thy
That something still which prompts th' eternal figh,
THE two foregoing epiftles having considered Man with regard to the Means (that is, in all his relations, whether as an Individual, or a Member of Society) this last comes to consider him with regard to the End, that is, HAPPINESS.
Ver. 6. O'erlook’d, seen double,] O'erlook'd by those who place Happiness in any thing exclusive of Virtue ; seen double by those who admit any thing else to have a share with Virtue in procuring Happiness; these being the two general mistakes that this epistle is employed in confuting.
Oh Happiness! to which we all aspire,